Relationships, romance and adult toys: 6 best university courses to learn about love and its great mysteries

how to learn about love
Love is in the air as Valentine's Day approaches. Source: AFP

It’s Valentine’s Day and love is in the air. It’s a time when Instagram and TikTok are filled with photos and videos of people expressing their affection to their loved ones through gestures both big and small. 

But if you’re someone who struggles in this area, did you know that there are actual university courses dedicated to understanding what love is all about?

These courses dive deep into the intricacies of how to learn about love. Anyone who has experienced the highs and lows of this emotion that makes the world go round will know it’s more than about going on dates or buying red roses for one day in a year.

There’s a lot of psychology, sociology and philosophy in love. There’s not just one way to do it — each of the eight billion people in the world has their own unique ways to show and experience love.

Move from one country to the next and you can see how V-day is celebrated differently all around the world:

  • Wales: Couples exchange carved wooden love spoons as a symbol of their affection and commitment.
  • The Philippines: Hundreds of couples gather in public venues to exchange vows in mass wedding ceremonies.
  • Germany: Couples exchange pig-shaped gifts, a tradition that started in the Middle Ages when pigs were symbols of good luck and prosperity.
  • Spain: Men gift “macadora,” which are marzipan figurines, to women. 


While lovely and much appreciated, gifts, rituals and marriages represent only a fraction of what love is all about.

And like anything worth studying, it’s best to go to university to gain an education in that subject.

But just how necessary is it to learn about love?

Are courses about love necessary?

The answer depends on who you ask. Here are some key opinions on why courses on how to learn about love are important:

  • Know how relationships work: Relationships take a lot of hard work but most of us don’t know this and if we do, don’t know how to overcome its big challenges. Courses on love could provide insights into communication, empathy and conflict resolution, which could help you build and maintain relationships
  • Understand the world better: Love is a fundamental aspect of life which is why love has been a common theme in literature, philosophy and art throughout history. Knowing how other cultures and people in different periods experience love can help us understand our actions while in relationships.
  • Prepare for the future: People change all the time. There are new social norms and gender dynamics and with online dating becoming more popular, there are many complexities related to love and relationships that we need to learn. Taking on a course on how to learn about love could give you a platform to discuss and analyse these issues. 
how to learn about love

Courses about love and relationships could help many form better bonds personally and professionally. Source: AFP

Not everyone agrees that courses on how to learn about love are necessary. 

  • Practicality and employability: While understanding love and relationships can have personal benefits, you may question the practicality of these courses in preparing you for the job market. Employers tend to prioritise technical skills and industry knowledge over insights into love and relationships.
  • Ethical and cultural issues: There could be ethical and cultural issues when discussing love in university. With students from all around the world who practise different beliefs and have different values, imposing certain perspectives could be a culturally sensitive topic. 

6 best university courses on how to learn about love

1. “Love, Sex and Relationships” at City University of Hong Kong 

The Love, Sex, and Relationships course offered at City University of Hong Kong is a great choice for anyone seeking deep insights into building healthy romantic and professional relationships.

Focusing on the psychological perspectives of love, you’ll be introduced to concepts and theories for understanding human love, sexuality and interpersonal relationships. 

The course includes activities that will equip you with skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving and teamwork. 

how to learn about love

Did you know in 2023, Valentine’s Day chocolate and candy sales exceeded $4 billion? Source: AFP

2. “Love Actually” at NYU

NYU’s “Love Actually” course, led by psychiatrists Megan Poe and Francesco Ferrari, has sparked the interest of many. 

Diving into the essence of human connection and affection, the course takes a psychological lens to parent-infant love, friendship, self-love, love of things like our passions and even the kind of love that can exist in therapy

Through discussions, thought-provoking papers and hands-on projects, you’ll expand your understanding of love beyond its traditional notions.

3. “The Psychology of Love” at The University of New Mexico

In this course, you will focus on why and how people select their life partners. You will explore the unconscious processes underlying our romantic choices and the limited control we have over them. 

Beyond investigating healthy relationships, you will look into the reasons why people stray and why love can make people do irrational things.

how to learn about love

Love has evolved from hundreds of millions of years ago. Source: AFP

4. “Building Loving and Lasting Relationships: Marriage 101” at Northwestern University

Northwestern University offers a course called “Building Loving and Lasting Relationships: Marriage 101,” where you will look into the secrets of lasting relationships. 

This is a great opportunity for those looking for ways how to learn about love. The course will help you understand yourself, improve communication and explore successful relationships. 

Through studying real-life stories and relationship tools, you gain insights into building lasting bonds. By the end of the course, you will feel more confident and prepared for relationships. 

5. “What is love?” at Stanford University

The “What is Love?” course at Stanford University looks at love’s evolution over the years. 

It explores whether love is a spiritual force or rooted in our bodies and whether it’s timeless or always changing. 

Throughout the course, you will look at the history of love, from classical times to modern days, examining how Western ideas of romantic love have shifted.

You will analyse ancient texts like Plato’s “Symposium” and contemporary works like Chester Brown’s novel “Paying For It,” exploring its connections to sex, power, money, marriage and gender.

how to learn about love

According to Plastic Oceans, Valentine’s Day contributes nine million kilograms of CO2 into the atmosphere per year. Source: AFP

6. Industrial Design at RMIT University 

Did you know RMIT University in Melbourne offers a unique Industrial Design course focusing on creating well-designed sex toys? 

The course aims to fill a gap in the market for high-quality, safe and innovative intimate products.

The sex toy market is expected to grow to around US$52.7 billion by 2030. What you learn can be used to address issues like male erectile dysfunction and enhance intimate experiences.

At the Future Sex design studio, undergraduates explore different areas of sexual function through design.